For the week of: 10/22-28/2001
“And oftentimes excusing of a fault
Doth make the fault worse by the excuse.”
Shakespeare’s King John [IX.ii.30]

Mercury turns himself around, well sort of, anyway, but like the character from Shakespeare’s play it’s a little late to use an excuse like “Mercury was retrograde” as an alibi — and some folks just don’t understand the context, either. Since this is the beginning of Scorpio, it’s a nice time to stop by and see your Astrology buddy — El Paso this coming weekend. If you’re not going to be in the area, you can still show your support in a number of ways:1] buy a chart report 2] buy a T-shirt or hat 3] donate a buck or two. Without your support, we might not make it back from the next trip.

Aries: Tread softly. You catch more flies with honey instead of vinegar. Insert your favorite little homily here. Get the picture? Go easy on the rest of us. We can’t all be Aries. We can’t all enjoy your lightening fast reactions. And even your lightening fast reactions aren’t all that good, not right now. You might feel like me, in moment of candor, I once let a little comment slip out, and it was the wrong thing to say. Might have been the right thing to say, but it was certainly not the right time to say it. And since astrology can help with matters just like this, then let’s face a few facts, your timing is off. This isn’t like my old truck, which skips a beat every now and then, this more like the way you deliver your information. You have a lot to say, but you need to play more coy. Play a little hard to get. Let the other person tease the information out of you, like a game. Pretend like you don’t know. Pretend like you have to think for a moment. Make believe your an actor or actress, and do some acting. Take that dramatic pause. Put the Aries ability on hold for just a second, and give in to that dramatic pause. Act like you have to think about it, first. You’ll be surprised at what good results this sort of pause achieves.

Taurus: I suppose it would depend on just how sensitive you are, but if you read your Fishing Guide to the Stars astrology on a regular basis, then you must be the alert, heads up, sensitive type. And you know that it will feel better, soon enough. You know that you get a hint from the heavens, a stellar influence which leaves you with a feeling that everything is about to be better. It’s not a hint that you can hang a lot of hope on, it’s not that strong, but there’s a gentle nudge. It could be something as simple as getting that one parking spot, right by the front door. To be sure, in certain busy metropolitan areas, a good parking spot can move you to tears. And it’s just like that, a little opening, the briefest glimpse which suggests that there is hope. It suggests that there is a chance. It suggests that it is an opening. It suggests a lot of things. I don’t know if I would get your Taurus hopes too high, but it does look like there’s a happy resolution to persnickety problem, late in the week. Of course, this is like my old truck, just as soon as one problem is fixed, there’s always something else which then requires my attention.

Gemini: I’ve hammered this point home many times, about how Gemini needs to slow down for the rest of us, at least, for a little while. I’ve tried to pound this into your head, about the little planet’s mismatched direction (Mercury Retrograde), and I’ve banged away about this at length. I was building some extra shelves for the storage shed beside my trailer, and I’m not the most graceful or adept at this sort of endeavor. And while I was pounding away, one of my Gemini buddies shows up to demonstrate how it’s supposed to be done. Gemini’s make the best experts — usually. But right now, not everyone will agree that you’re best at what you do. And while I was banging on the nail, the voice in the back of my head — a certain male Gemini voice — suggested I was doing something not quite right. The hammer missed one nail, and we were all treated to a loquacious choice of words — my words. Not fit for printing, that’s for sure. Don’t be like my Gemini buddy right now: don’t give extra advice — even though you are certainly correct — do us both a favor and be quiet. I know, in my heart, you are right. You know, in your heart, you are right. Doesn’t mean that now is the time to prove your point. You can cause us to make a mistake, and we’ll just blame you. Hold it until next week, then you’ll find we’re more willing to listen.

Cancer: Yes, it’s true, I’ve dated a Cancer. And yes, that would imply that I have some degree of knowledge about this sign, perhaps a deeper understanding than most. While that might be true, it was also with a Cancer that I heard those words which every man fears, “If you don’t know what you did wrong, then I’m not going to tell you.” Why would I bring up my past social life? In a unique twist of fate, you’re probably going to hear something just like that statement. Unnerving, isn’t it? And, to make this feel a little worse, it’s not gender specific. You know you’re in trouble, might be small, might be big, but what makes this situation worse is the fact no one wants to tell you what you did wrong. Before you assume there is a cloud of doom over your head, though, let me tell you what years of therapy did for me: if they don’t tell you what you did wrong, then you don’t have to feel guilty, hurt or injured. Got it? Through the graces of the Fishing Guide to the Stars, I’ll let you know, if they ain’t willing to explain what’s wrong, then you’re not wrong. Maybe you are, but why waste any more energy — especially if they’re not talking? That’s their problem, not yours.

Leo: In most (well, all of the ones I’ve ever been in) of the restaurants which are advertised as Mexican, Tex-Mex, or even Central American Cuisine, there’s a display by the front counter which includes Pralines. This is a caramel, pecan, walnut (even), sometimes chocolate, sugar and not much else form of dessert candy. It’s traditional, it’s ubiquitous in my parts of the country, and it’s the perfect way to see this next couple of days. Or the next week, or even, the moment. See, the candy is thick and sweet, and yet, despite its high calorie content, it is just chock full of goodness. The biggest problem? Carry a toothpick or two — those are usually right next to the praline display. The sugary goodness seems to get stuck in your teeth. Might be the nuts. But the usual pecans are an integral part of the of the whole flavor sensation — even though the nuts seems to get stuck in the wrong corners of your mouth. So you’re walking out of the haute cuisine place of choice (Tex-Mex), you grab a little candy for the road (praline), and then you’re still stuck with the candy in your back teeth (Mercury). Just be aware that there are always a few problems and things ain’t quite all perfectly back to normal yet. That’s part of the appeal of a praline.

Virgo: As Mercury is often intimately associated with your sign, and since this is a week when Mercury finally shifts gears a little, then the feeling is the same for you. Just be a little careful as there is a tale of caution to be attached to this shifting gears. With old trucks — my preferred form of transportation — there’s a caution. Before shifting from the reverse gear to a forward gear, the truck has to be at an absolute stop — i.e., e.g., and therefore, it has to be at a complete stop. Or look at it this way: it’s like digging for first gear in a non synchronized transmission — usually a model from before the 1970’s. The wheels need to be at a complete stop. Complete stop means not turning at all. Wait until you are at a full stop before you shift. Failure to do so, and I know from personal experience (and some great cost for parts as well as a trip to the junk yard), failure to roll to a stop before you try to shift gears results in one of two things, or both things. There’s horrendous grinding noise as the transmission’s gears look for each other, and, if you’re not careful, there’s a dull thudding noise as the transmission takes a little time out, and it falls on the ground. No need to repeat my actions, just make sure you are at a full stop before you shift into forward motion.

Libra: Nothing ever happens fast enough, or, sometimes, it happens too fast. Imagine that you’ve been sitting in the bow of my bass boat, and imagine that we’ve had a slow day at the lake. Imagine then that I suddenly take us over to special little cove I know about — high up on the hill is a mansion. Lurking there, in the waters below, there are lots and lots of fish. From what seems like a rather disappointing day, the lake seems to boil with fish struggling to get onto your hook. You no sooner pull one fish off the line than another throws itself at your hook. The change in location, maybe not a big change, but a little change, the change in view, the the gentle shifting of the planets, and all of a sudden like, everything comes alive. You’ve got remember to change your direction, change your location a little. Doing so helps. And it might not be that big of deal, it might be the next cove over from you’re at right now It might not be that far. It could be right around the corner. Yes, right around the corner is something good.

Scorpio: Sneaky Scorpio. Sneaky Sun Sign. Sounds a lot like a brand of lure I used to use, the brand had one called a Sneaky Snake. Since the sponsorship for the professional bass fishing team got pulled, since the big promotional package got yanked out from underneath us, since we don’t get paid a lot of big bucks in order to explain that this is the killer lure, then I can’t condone its use. But it is pretty darn good, anyway. And it helps to be imitate the action of the the namesake for the time being. Be a little more stealth like. Be a little more sneaky. Or, at least, be a little more like my favorite Scorpio fishing buddy, act sneaky. Act like you’re up to something. Act like it matters. Act “as if.” Which, of course, will get you wondering about this acting stuff, and what you’re supposed to be acting like. Act like it’s a good thing, but also, act like you have a trick or two still up your Scorpio sleeve. Act like there’s still something you’re working on. Act like you have a secret. Acting is very important, and acting like you have secret is a good thing right now.

Sagittarius: Unconventional wisdom comes in the most unlikely of places. Maybe that’s why it’s called unconventional wisdom. There’s a diner I go to with an alarming frequency. “Hey Kramer,” is the usual greeting. I’ve been known to be there more than once in a single day. I joke about it and refer to the place as the “office.” I was meeting a member of the 4th Estate there, a guy wanted to interview a real Fishing Guide to the Stars astrologer, and I figured it was the best place to meet him. I think he was afraid of water or something. One of the staff members of the diner had a pointed astrology question about the relative position of the moon and stuff in her chart, and this interrupted the interview. Didn’t bother me to shift gears, and out that brief exchange, if I recall correctly, the waitress said something remarkably profound. Now, this reporter was supposed to be getting quotes from me, but someone else came up with the best line of the day. Instead of worrying about the source, let the other person shine. Sagittarius is more like catalyst rather than a source. And the best form of the unconventional wisdom? Get the turnip greens with the chicken fried steak.

Capricorn: One trick I’ve learned, about reading Shakespeare plays, one of the little things I’ve discovered as an aid in this endeavor, is to read the play out loud. In the comfortable confines of my trailer, I pretend that I’m reading part of the play to the cat. Sounds good to me. The cat looks bored. Sometimes, she stretches and goes outside. So much for a sympathetic audience. But reading one of the plays out loud is a tedious process, I mean, reading the whole thing out loud. However, reading part of it out loud, maybe one of the good speeches? That’s not such a bad idea. Sometimes, I have to cruise through a particular speech a few times before I understand the rhythm, before I get the right cadence, before I get away from the singsong delivery usually reserved for dilettantes like myself. You might not be reading play out loud to your cat, but you’re doing something that requires a little more patience and practice than usual. Mercury. Yes, it’s that one word excuse again. But instead of worrying about it, just back up, clear your Capricorn throat again, and start over at the top. Eventually, the cat wanders back in and gives you an attentive look as you launch into the speech. Or whatever it is that you’re practicing. Might have to go over this stuff more than once, but you’ll get it all right before the end of the week.

Aquarius: We get these absolutely fabulous days like this, it’s cool at night — down right cold at times — and it gets really warm during the day. While it’s not a scorching 100 degrees, there’s still enough sun and warmth to make a body sweat in the more athletic of outside endeavors. Then, at night, it’s downright cold and chilly. Great weather, down here in Texas. Changes up, too. And like our weather change-up, you have a similar little change. Unlike our weather, this looks like a warming trend. A weird, wacky warming change up. More like a heat wave of some sort. Specifically, a Martian Heat Wave. Got that? It’s almost here, might already here by the time you read this — might not, though. So be a little careful. No jumping the start on this one. When I raced motorcycles, there would be a problem as everyone wanted to be the first off the start line. No jumping the start like this, not with Mars. Make sure that you leave at the same time as everyone else. If you try to sneak out ahead of everyone, this is referred to as “jumping the start,” and you get called back, and everyone has to start over again. Doesn’t make you very popular. So enjoy the warming trend, but don’t jump the start.

Pisces: “Finally,” you think to your Pisces self, “finally! Someone who understands! It’s not me, it’s the pieces of the cosmological puzzle that just don’t fit right.” Lame excuse, folks. True, I mean, it’s true that the pieces just don’t fit quite right, but the parts are all there. I was helping a buddy work on his antique motorcycle because it was a marquee I was familiar with, and I knew a few trick which could help prevent skinned knuckles. Little tricks about how to lever the transmission back into the frame and not use so many bad words. Little tips for preventing the more creative forms of self-expression often employed by two amateurs working on a vehicle. I showed him what I knew, and we got the thing put back together only — you knew this would happen while in the final throes of Mercury Mayhem — we had one part left over. Pretty important part, too, as it’s the little thing which disengages the spinning motor from the rear wheel. Not a big deal, really, the piece rolled under a box and we legitimately missed it. Time to take the whole thing apart, and put that one tiny piece in. You get a chance, thanks to Mercury, to take something apart, one more time, and put it back together because you forgot one, relatively small but rather important part, too.

(c) Kramer Wetzel, 2000, 2001

About the author: Born and raised in a small town in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel spent years honing his craft in a trailer park in South Austin. He hates writing about himself in third person. More at KramerWetzel.com.

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